I will not be sad about the way that you look, the scars that you bear or the marks you’ve grown. I will not be sad that you don’t look like her, or them or that. I will not put pressure on you to perform in in a way that feels forced, foreign or painful. I will not expect the impossible, the unattainable the out of reach- because it doesn’t exist.
I will be sad for how I’ve mistreated you, for the actions and inactions that have weakend your health or made you feel less than.
I will do better, and make the wrongs into rights by listening to your pleas, by giving back, by nurturing you.
I will compare you not to the bodies of others, not to the impossible standards, to the photoshopped and face tuned perfection that isn’t real.
I will heal you with love, fuel, care and most of all understanding and grace and time. Lots of time. Because that’s all we have, you and I. Time together. Time to be complete and completely in love.
I got mad at my thighs today, for rubbing together and making a “shushing” sound as I walked. I literally got mad at a body part for doing what a body part does and what mine will probably do long after my death because a thigh gap will never be in the cards for me.
Now at 39 years old, having lost and gained and lost and gained weight, having been bulimic in my teens, near starving in my early 20’s, a binge eater from 25 on (still struggle with that) I thought I had made peace with my thigh songs. It took me aback a little, that I felt so angry with part of myself. It stopped me in my tracks. It took me a minute to shake off the feeling, and I found myself laughing. “SING ME THE SONG OF YOUR PEOPLE THIGHS, IM LISTENING! HEY, WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR BREAKFAST?”
Learning to be ok with, or not even think about physical parts of yourself is a life long lesson. You will never reach the end of your tutorial. You will have moments that bring you right back to the self-hate. It could be the jiggle in your belly when you dance, the back of your arms waving when you do, or the song of your thighs rubbing together. But absolutely none of those things have any meaning, they won’t love your family, be a kind heart for a wounded friend, or pay your damn bills. Remember that when you see a part you hate, it’s meaningless. Laugh at yourself and feed yourself some breakfast.
I want to help end the stigmas around mental health. I want to show that even “strong” people suffer. Those we perceive as powerful and fierce, are susceptible to down times and feelings of depression and anxiety.
I’ve only shared a snippets of my story, only glimpses of the pain. I’ll share more in time, as vulnerability is essential for healing. I have powered through and endured, but I still have times where that strength, that resilience… it abandons me.
I’m lost in those trenches again. There is no single even or thing that “sets off” seasons of depression and anxiety for me. Often times I have these seasons when it appears outwardly that my life and it’s direction, are at their best. I can’t predict when my mental state will go grey, it just comes. I do know when I’m in a sad season though, and I’m fortunate enough to be one of those that aren’t so deep that I can’t maintain my life. That certainly doesn’t mean that every day isn’t a battle, or that I’m less deserving of help than another. My battle and someone else’s, though they may be different, are both burdensome.
I am trying to pull myself out of the grey, and into the light. No one can save me, I have to chart these waters alone, as I have done so many times in the past. I’m ok with being not ok though, because without the bad we could never appreciate the good.
For this moment, I’ll live with dirty mirrors, undone housework and in my oldest t-shirt… because I know soon, I’ll be able so clean away the sad grey and make room for happy light.